Being my birthday today, I thought I’d run a quick analysis of birthday related transactions on our family finance site. (Completely anonymous analysis as always!)
These cash deposit descriptions caught my eye:
Convert Cineplex cards from Birthday
Birthday gift from XXX: Target gift card in exchange for cash
Any parent who’s seen unused or partially used gift cards pile up in a kid’s drawer might want to consider this clever idea. Let your kids turn in their gift cards to you for cash — or an equivalent deposit in a bank account or on a prepaid card. (Maybe even split that deposit between spending, saving, and giving.)
That way, your lactose intolerant daughter won’t be stuck with a (well-meaning) gift card to Ben & Jerry’s.
Or, your son, now burned out on that burrito addiction, won’t be burying that (well-meaning) gift card to Chipotle.
No sense letting those nice cards go to waste. Now your kids can spend the balance on something they really enjoy. Or, maybe even put that money to work by earning some sweet Bank of Mom/Dad interest.
What to do with all the gift cards you collect?
- Use them. Just because your son has Chipotle fatigue and your daughter is lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some burritos and ice cream! And what parent can’t use up a Target card in a heartbeat.
- Regift them. Always good to have a stash of cards around for that last minute birthday party your kid forgot to mention.
- Sell them. Someone else in the family might want to buy a coveted card from your stash. Or, if you’re willing to accept a discounted price, you could sell them online.
With your own family gift card exchange, you’ll help chip away at the billion dollars that’s left on the table — or in a sock drawer — every year. Also, no more long faces when Aunt Millie delivers that well-meaning but off target gift card either. Win, win.
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